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This is a creative idea. But is it workable?

You are feeling good. Your team came up with a great list of ideas during their brainstorming session. The next step is helping them turn those ideas into actual vehicles, props, and structures. The approach below is particularly useful for more technical aspects of a solution, but can be applied to virtually any component.

  1. Have the group generate some “quick and dirty” experiments they can conduct to test the viability of alternative approaches (i.e. build a “scale model” out of clay or cardboard — or draw out an idea on paper). If a team can’t create a scale model out of easy to use, inexpensive materials, they almost certainly will be unable to build the real thing out of expensive materials that take a great deal of time to work into the desired shape.

  2. Are there more in-depth experiments they can conduct for the best few ideas? The idea is:

  • If a team considers the things they are building for these “experiments” to be disposable, they are much more likely to be able to build them quickly (rather than stressing that they “aren’t perfect”).

  • They are also much more likely to be willing to fold various ideas together and throw out a “work in process” in favor of a better combined idea.

  • In contrast, if a team begins to build something they perceive to be part of their “final solution”, it is very rare they will be willing to discard it.

ALWAYS keep your notes of all ideas that are generated both during a formal brainstorming session and during work sessions (listening and taking notes is a great use of the coach’s time during work sessions). If a team hits a dead end, it is very likely they will have forgotten all their previous ideas and you can bring out your notes for them to review. In addition, it is a good idea to revisit the brainstorming process from time to time because team members will have good ideas pop into their head hours (or days) after the formal brainstorming process is complete.

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